Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Regulator cuts fees for payday loans in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • Fees will fall from $19 per $100 borrowed for a pay period to $17 this fall.
  • Nova Scotia borrowers will bear the same fees as Ontario by 2024: $15 per $100 borrowed instead of the current $19 price.

The province’s Utility and Review Board slashes the fees Nova Scotians are charged for payday loans. 

The regulator also wants more precise data from payday lenders about how many borrowers cannot pay up. 

Nova Scotians presently pay the second-highest payday loan fees in the nation: $19 for every $100 borrowed for a payday period of two weeks. 

Those fees will be dialed back to $17 on Sept. 1 and $15 on Jan. 1, 2024. 

“I’m satisfied with it,” said David Roberts, a Halifax lawyer and a customer advocate. He argued for the changes at a public board hearing in March, part of a regular industry review every three years.

“They’re lining us up where we should be, which is with the rest of the nation,” he said. 

Lenders oppose fee drop.

Read more: 4 Nova Scotia universities to share a one-time grant boost of $105M

The province’s Utility and Review Board slashes the fees Nova Scotians are charged for payday loans

A representative for small payday lenders told the UARB that lower fees would be untenable for lenders. 

But Roberts states the industry still flourishes in other areas of Canada, in some cases branching out into different kinds of commercial lending such as installment loans. 

“Most Canadians already live in jurisdictions that don’t let anything more than $15 per hundred,” he stated. 

While the UARB has the freedom to set fees for payday loans, the other two proposals in its 2022 report need local government support. 

First, people who take out more than two payday loans in two months should be given extensions of one or two pay periods to compensate for those loans. 

Service Nova Scotia, the department liable for enforcing payday loan rules, denied the same request in 2015 as too demanding due to technical problems and privacy matters. 

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